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Now retired after forty years in financial services: a) analyzing corporate, bank, and sovereign risk, b) predicting bankruptcies and conducting commercial workouts, restructurings, and dissolutions, c) financing grain, soft commodities, oil, and the precious metal trade internationally, d) overseeing interbank finance and arbitrage, e) modeling and assessing the productivity of financial business units, f) directing aspects of M&A due diligence and post-acquisition integrations, g) serving as CIO of a major full-service broker-dealer, h) consulting including as interim management to global banks, investment advisors, trust companies, and alternative investment / hedge funds, and i) acting as managing general partner of a family farm. An MBA, educated in economics, who held various securities industry licenses including Series 7, 63, 24, and 14 (all now expired). A donor and volunteer focused on public works projects and helping motivated, first-in-family, degree and certificate-bound kids, achieve their education. Formerly, an advisory board member of The Trust for Public Land involved with park and conservation projects including creating a 475-acre wildlife preserve on one of the few metro-area trout streams in the US, and an equally unique produce farm in a distressed inner-city neighborhood. (All my proceeds from writing on Seeking Alpha go to charity.) Before investing, always do your own due diligence in consultation with a licensed and competent financial/investment advisor(s) who puts your interests ahead of their own; if you don't have one, find one.
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Here at Hillside we consider ourselves the self appointed ambassadors for the convertible asset class. As part of this effort we publish our Hybrid Vigor newsletter on a weekly basis. Hybrid Vigor is the only independent research published on convertibles and includes our proprietary HARP and HOCS methodology rankings as well as fundamental reports on current and potential convertible issuance. Through our experience we have built a prodigious network of industry contacts to leverage in addition to our in-house talent. As a result, we offer much more than our weekly report. Feel free to reach out to us regarding our bespoke offerings on portfolio/account management, sub advisory, research, training and consulting menus.
Please note that I do not read comments posted here, nor respond to messages here. I don't have the time. If you want my attention, you must seek it directly at my blog.
David J. Merkel, CFA — From 2003-2007, I was a leading commentator at the excellent investment website RealMoney.com (http://www.RealMoney.com). Back in 2003, after several years of correspondence, James Cramer invited me to write for the site, and now I write for RealMoney on equity and bond portfolio management, macroeconomics, derivatives, quantitative strategies, insurance issues, corporate governance, etc. My specialty is looking at the interlinkages in the markets in order to understand individual markets better.
I no longer contribute to RealMoney because my work duties have gotten larger, and I began this blog to develop a distinct voice with a wider distribution.
In 2008, I became the Chief Economist and Director of Research of Finacorp Securities (http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/02-08-2008/0004752449&EDATE=). Finacorp went into liquidation in June 2010, after which I decided to open my own asset management shop, Aleph Investments, LLC. I manage stock and bond portfolios for clients.
Until 2007, I was a senior investment analyst at Hovde Capital, responsible for analysis and valuation of investment opportunities for the FIP funds, particularly of companies in the insurance industry. I also managed the internal profit sharing and charitable endowment monies of the firm.
Prior to joining Hovde in 2003, I managed corporate bonds for Dwight Asset Management. In 1998, I joined the Mount Washington Investment Group as the Mortgage Bond and Asset Liability manager after working with Provident Mutual, AIG and Pacific Standard Life.
My background as a life actuary has given me a different perspective on investing. How do you earn money without taking undue risk? How do you convey ideas about investing while showing a proper level of uncertainty on the likelihood of success? How do the various markets fit together, telling us us a broader story than any single piece? These are the themes that I will deal with in this blog. I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University.
In my spare time, I take care of our eight children with my wonderful wife Ruth. Visit this site: The Aleph Blog (http://alephblog.com/)
Eric F. Risley is an 18 year investment banking veteran. Eric most recently ran the Software Corporate and Investment Banking Practice at Banc of America Securities LLC. Eric built one of the leading software investment banking practices on Wall Street, working with a combination of established and emerging software vendors.
Prior to Banc of America Securities, Eric founded and ran the software and internet investment banking practices at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. and CIBC World Markets. Eric also was a co-founder of Oppenheimer's West Coast technology investment banking practice. Eric is currently a Venture Partner with GKM and Osprey Ventures.
Visit his site: Architect Partners (http://architectpartners.typepad.com/)
Kiran is an independent research consultant in the areas of volatility-based and leveraged instruments, including several proprietary strategies.
His services include hypotheses generation, back-testing, risk/return analytics, and predictive modelling for proprietary trading strategies, as well as research consulting in the above areas. Expected and realized returns for his 2 flagship strategy portfolios exceed 100% on an annualized basis, while maintaining expected and realized Sharpe ratios over 3 times higher than the S&P 500. Kiran was mentored by Wall Street research veteran Mark Gomes. Alongside Mr. Gomes, he brought Wall Street level research to retail and institutional investors through PTT Capital's flagship newsletters.
In evaluating investment opportunities, I consider a company's management, products, customer relationships, competitive positioning, financials, the macroeconomic climate, social media response and other sources.
I arrive at my own conclusions, tuning out the noise of the marketplace. My investment choices are typically based on a holding period of at least two to three years. Influences include Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Howard Marks, Joel Greenblatt, Steve Romick and Warren Buffett. My academic studies were in literature and psychology; I've supplemented this with extensive reading in business, economics and investing.
A fund manager who cut his cloth in Schroders London. He joined Coronation South Africa in 1998, running the Smaller Companies Fund which had the best 5-yr record in the sector during his tenure. In 2005 he left Coronation to pursue his passion in writing (and invest without constraints). He recently completed his first novel, a financial thriller called "White Man's Numbers" which can be purchased from Lulu.com and Amazon. Highly acclaimed, See excerpt and reviews on website link below.